last Friday. But right from the get-go, he showed a strong determination to get out of the house. He never did that at home. We didn't think about it much.
But last Saturday he succeeded in opening a sliding screen door and apparently "took off for the territory." There's no sign of him since, but we assume he was ready to curl up and die and got his wish. There are no predators here really. And there are infinite woodsy places for a small, weak cat to hunker down.
The Erudite Partner and I had worked so hard to get him more or less healthy and then to get him across the country that we'd sort of forgotten what a frail old boy he was. He was 14 years old.
After all, in the last two years he'd lost his vision and recovered it thanks to blood pressure meds, gone on thyroid suppressing food, needed topical appetite stimulant at times to keep him eating, undergone subcutaneous rehydration in our unskilled hands, grown some kind of tumor that led to a persistent nose bleed, suffered the indignity of multiple courses of antibiotics squirted down his throat, seemed to have failing kidneys so he had to be enticed to drink from an indoor fountain ... and then we uprooted him. During the trip he demonstrated his escape artistry. We didn't understand how strong his drive was to just leave.
So Morty got what he wanted, at least as best we can understand. He rubbed against each of us that morning and took off. Whatever love is between humans and cats, all three of us had it.
We subjected Morty to most of what modern veterinary medicine had to offer to an old cat. The parallel to what modern medicine offers to frail elderly people is haunting. Lots of us don't want that, but we'll be lucky to avoid the human equivalent when the time comes.
We're heart-broken as you'd imagine. Go in peace, good cat.